For permanent collection in The Field Museum’s Grainger Hall of Gems, I was asked to create a necklace using three White (colorless) topazes from the museum’s collection- they were mined in Russia’s Ural Mountains. I created a pendulum style piece with multiple chains in blackened sterling silver.
When the occasion calls for true Red, there are few stones that answer back with such pure hue and great fire as Ruby. Ruby is a Corundum, and while all other colors including pink wear the sapphire name, the red ones are called “ruby”. They are rare and expensive in larger sizes and fine qualities and subject to frequent political storms
Opals with bright, varied color with good contrast are a joy to work with and a joy to wear. In recent years, I have mounted several beautiful opals that clients have brought back from trips to Australia or acquired through inheritance. They are prone to scratching and breaking, so in a ring, they are best worn for special occasions, but in a necklace, they can become a wardrobe staple since the colors make it versatile.
Our stones are mostly mined in Arizona, but then take a trip to Germany to our lapidary for precise, brilliant cutting before we set them into our collections and custom designs. The hue works well in yellow gold as well as white gold. I also love to mix it with other colorful gemstones such as magenta rubellite tourmaline, sunny golden beryl, or cool blue sapphire.
Pearls are a symbol of love, success, and happiness, and are used as an emblem of chastity and purity. Pearls are thought to give wisdom, to quicken karma, and cement engagements and relationships.
While Sapphires are available in a wide range of colors from yellow to pink, green to purple, violet to orange, the Blue Sapphire is the most popular. I am often called upon to design engagement rings using a blue sapphire instead of a diamond as the centerpiece.
The range of pinks available in tourmaline is truly amazing, but often it depends on the locality. My favorite gemstone is the bright Fuschia Rubellite variety- It came on the scene in 1999 when a major gem pocket was discovered in Nigeria- this material was bright in color and very clean in clarity, something unusual that distinguished this mine find from other localities.
I most often use bright green Tsavorite Garnets, in my designs. The color resembles emerald, but with its higher refractive index and clear clarity, tsavorites are much more lively and durable. They are also less expensive.
Blue Zircon has a lively, natural light to medium slightly greenish-blue color with brilliance that rivals a diamond. I love designing with blue zircon, look for blue zircons in my upcoming collections!